The Physical Layout of the Network

This post will justify each physical layout of the network in details; along with an advantage, disadvantage and figure.

  • Bus topology – it lays out all the connecting nodes in a single run that acts as the common backbone connection for all connected devices. The figure below represents the bus topology:


  1. Advantage: It is a very simple topology and it is a common link to all devices and cables.
  2. Disadvantage: All connectivity is lost, if the bus backbone is damaged.

The best way to envision this topology is to think of the Christmas lights that are connected to each other and the electricity is passed throughout the cable. However, it goes completely out when one light burns out or is removed.



  • Ring topology – this topology is similar to the “bus topology”, but the start and end of the backbone are connected in a circle shape. The network connection in the ring topology is looped into a ring. The good side of this topology that it provides redundancy. The figure below represents the ring topology:




  • Star topology – this topology attaches multiple nodes to a centralised network device. Think of it as the wheel on a bike, where the hub is the centre of the wheel. The centre that connects all nodes can be a hub or a switch. The figure below represents the star topology:



  1. Advantage: Easy to setup. Plus, any single node of the star topology can go offline without affecting the other nodes.
  2. Disadvantage: If the hub or switch fails; then the network will fail.



  • Mesh topology – it is a web of cabling that attaches and connect a group of nodes (clients) to each other. The internet, in fact, is designed and built as one large mesh network. The figure below represents the mesh topology:


  1. Advantage: it provides a high level of redundancy and resistance of outages; it can also make troubleshooting.
  2. Disadvantage: it might look messy and convoluted.



  • Hybrid topology – is the most common layout in use these days. It is the most complex and advance topology layout. Basically, a hybrid layout combines different topologies into one mixed topology, where it takes the best of the other topologies and uses them to its advantage. The figure below represents the hybrid topology:




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